Wed 24 Apr 2019
Learn how a classic novel was made into an opera with Grammy-nominated opera librettist Gene Scheer.
Learn how a classic novel was made into an opera with Grammy-nominated opera librettist Gene Scheer. He'll discuss the process of transforming Herman Melville's magnum opus "Moby-Dick" into a critically-acclaimed opera, finding parallels between writing classic literature and writing operatic verses. Combining musical performance and literary discussion, our Singers & Songwriters series takes visitors to the intersection of music, poetry, literature, and beyond.
This program is presented in partnership with the Chicago Opera Theater, which is putting on performances of "Moby-Dick" April 25th and April 28th. Featuring a sprawling chorus and massive orchestra, "Moby-Dick" is an epic feat of musical storytelling. This thrilling tale of adventure, passion, and vengeance is a not-to-be-missed event.
With the composer Steven Stucky, Scheer wrote the oratorio "August 4, 1964," for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The work was nominated for a Grammy in 2012 for best classical composition. With Jennifer Higdon, Scheer wrote an operatic adaptation of "Cold Mountain," which premiered in the summer of 2015 at the Santa Fe Opera. This work won the International Opera award, presented in London, for the best World premiere in 2015. Recently, along with Ms. Higdon, Scheer was nominated for a Grammy for his work on "Cold Mountain" for best classical composition.
Scheer’s work is noted for its scope and versatility. With the composer Jake Heggie, he has collaborated on many projects, including the 2010 Dallas Opera world premiere, "Moby-Dick," starring Ben Heppner as Captain Ahab; "Three Decembers" (Houston Grand Opera), which starred Frederica von Stade; and the lyric drama "To Hell and Back" (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra), which featured Patti LuPone. Other works by Scheer and Heggie include "Camille Claudel: Into the fire" and an operatic adaption of "It’s a Wonderful Life."